Thursday, June 30, 2016

US marks June as Georgian Wine Month

30.06.2016. Georgian wine is making impression in the United States. America has launched a month-long campaign June – Georgian Wine Month where Georgian produced wine is the centre of attention (read more: June 2016 is Georgian Wine Month in USA).

Four US cities hosted a special Georgian wine tasting events where wine-lovers had the opportunity to taste an array of wines made from Georgia’s indigenous grapes. Guests were also able to compare these varieties produced in modern and traditional (qvevri) production styles.

The tasting events took place in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco and was organised by the Georgian National Wine Agency and Tastingworks, a full-service strategic wine consulting company.

Wines from 22 big and small Georgian producers were poured into glasses at the US tasting events. Each tasting was preceded by a limited-seating seminar and tutored tasting on Georgian wine and wine culture.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gogowine: 27-year-old Georgian PR manager becomes successful winemaker

by Kristine Gamtenadze

29.06.2016. Keti Berishvili is a 27-year-old Georgian winemaker. Her family has been doing this business for the last several years and Keti became involved in it a year ago. Last year, she received the first harvest from her own vineyards. Saperavi and Rkatsiteli wines, fermented together in qvevri (traditional Georgian clay pot for making wine), are already branded. Gogowine now is sold at organic wine shops. As Keti says, considering that she is just a beginner, her first try was quite successful.

Keti is a PR manager by profession. She underwent master courses in Public Relations at the GIPA (Georgian Institute of Public Affairs) university in Tbilisi but she left her job and a very promising career in banking sector a year ago and moved to the village of Artana in Telavi district, to join her father. Keti’s goal was to produce organic wines and introduce a new direction in which she thinks her family business should move. She believes in the future and is ready for new challenges.

The wines produced by this young farmer are sold at special shops. Keti Berishvili has even received orders from USA and Denmark and she believes that next year Gogowine will cross the border.

“Of course I will export a small amount at first because the local market is now more important for me. We produce only organic wine and in very little amounts. However, this kind of production is hugely popular among the customers. I presented my first wine at the exhibition held in Italy and received a very good feedback. I am going on and I hope to learn more in winemaking,” Keri Berishvili says.

Georgia will host wine tasting events in Chinese province

29.06.2016. Georgia is preparing to hold wine tasting events in the northeastern Chinese province Liaoning to raise awareness of Georgian-made wine and the country's rich wine-making history.

To deepen cooperation between the two countries, an honourable delegation from China visited Georgia yesterday.

Georgia’s Agriculture Minister Otar Danelia hosted the delegation, which was led by the Vice Governor of Liaoning Zhao Huaming.

At the meeting the Georgian Minister positively assessed the cooperation between Georgia and China and accented the importance of tight economic relations.

At the end of the meeting the Chinese delegation tasted Georgian wine and some Georgian snacks. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Agriculture.

The two officials talked about the growing dynamics of the export of Georgian wine to China. Opening Georgian wine centres in China was believed to be important for increasing awareness of Georgian wine among Chinese consumers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

250 Hong Kongers sample 2016’s biggest wine trend: Georgian wines (with video)

28.06.2016 (Hvino News). “Qvevri”, “Gaumarjos”, “Saperavi” and “Rkatsiteli” echoed through Kowloon on Friday, as 250 wine lovers, trade, industry VIPs and media tasted more than 60 wines from 10 wineries at Hong Kong’s first Georgian Wine Festival held at The Cordis Hotel.

Hosted by Hong Kong-based Master of Wine, Debra Meiburg and Meiburg Wine Media, along with 10 winemakers from Georgia, and Giorgi Samanishvili, president of National Wine Agency, the Hong Kong Georgian Wine Festival featured a master class for 40 people, and two festival-style tasting events featuring 60 wines, the first being for the wine industry followed by a tasting session for the public, which attracted over 150 people.

Meiburg sought to address key barriers to success for Georgian wine, as identified by a recent group of Masters of Wine who visited Georgia in March. With some fun and catchy terminology and word-play, Meiburg helped attendees decipher the “seemingly unpronounceable” regions and varieties, plus she launched her newest video comparing popular international white wine varieties with indigenous Georgian varieties.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Young winemaker from Tusheti to revive forgotten Georgian grape species

27.06.2016. Shota Lagazidze is a 26-year-old winemaker from Tusheti, a mountainous region of Georgia. Having begun as an ordinary employee at a tourism management company, he then moved to winemaking together with one of his friends, eventually setting up his own brand called ‘Lagazi’.

He now owns 1,2 acres of land in the village of Zemo Alvani, in Akhmeta municipality and also has a wine cellar, where 1 200 liters of wine is kept in qvevris brought from Imereti. The two friends are now using only Rkatsiteli grapes sprayed with the so-called Bordeaux Tincture (lime and blue vitriol).

Shota Lagazidze says at first he faced numerous problems but eventually he is quite happy with the result.

‘When you begin doing something you are not quite experienced in, you face many unexpected problems. You may make some mistakes, but eventually you end up becoming more experienced’, - Lagazidze says.

In the nearest future, he plans to revive forgotten species of grapes, namely, Kakhetian Mtsvivani. Shota says this species is very old and can only be found in very small amounts. He has already planted 200 saplings of Kakhetian Mtsvivani. Next summer, he plans to add 700 more.

Before learning winemaking, he graduated from the Ilia State University’s tourism management department. Then, during several years, he worked as a guide and he still does that periodically. Shota is very proud that everything he has is a result of his hard work.

The young winemaker is also the founder of an agro-touristic farm. Lagazidze believes that in order for Georgian agriculture do properly develop, considerable help must be offered to young farmers.

‘The prospect of young people going to the villages is hard to imagine. The truth is, every young man returned to the field is crucial for the development agriculture. The point is a small country like ours cannot surprise anyone with its mass production. We can only reach the European market with natural and ecologically friendly production’, - Shota Lagazidze says.

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Stori Marani represented Georgia at "Top Wine China" in Beijing

27.06.2016 (Hvino News). Georgian winemaker Stori Marani, known as one of the best in qvevri wine making,  was represented in exhibition Top Wine China 2016 on June 15 - 17 in Beijing, China. The exhibition entry was available mainly for professionals, wine buyers, importers and retail sellers. [Stori Marani was the only company from Georgia at Top Wine China - HN].

Stori showed  4 wines: Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane and Kakhetian Velvety. All of them are made using qvevri winemaking method.

Company evaluates this exhibition as one of the most important events in Chinese wine market, which presents maximum opportunities to participants.

Stori's Head of Sales & Marketing George Azniashvili said:  "Exhibition was well organized, exhibitors represented all major wine-producing countries, mainly France, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Australia. Beauty of the exhibition was the fact that visitors were mostly professionals and commercially interested people from wine industry. We met different types of partners and clients with specific and individual offers. Also exhibition was full with presentations and seminars by MW and wine producers. We heard also very important statistics about Chinese wine market. The fact that volume of exported wine from Georgia to China increases every month consistently, means a lot for Georgian wine industry and for Chinese market too, which is  full with different types of wine".

Friday, June 24, 2016

Miquel Hudin leads Georgian wine masterclass in Spain

24.06.2016. (Hvino News) On July 2nd at Aguiló Vinateria in Falset (Tarragona, Spain) wine journalist and certified sommelier Miquel Hudin will be leading a masterclass and tasting on the wines from the country of Georgia.

Created as an overview to the viticulture and winemaking of Georgia, the class will start with the history of the region that is now known to date back 8,000 years. It will then cover the Soviet period and conclude with the current phase in promotion of the wines from the country which is focusing on the small producers of kvevri wines.

Wines to be tasted include:

  • Winiveria: Mtsvane 2014
  • Gvymarani: Mtsvane 2014
  • Nika Wine: Rkatsiteli 2014
  • KTW Velistsikhe Veranda: Rkatsiteli 2012
  • Iago’s Wine: Chinuri 2015
  • Baia’s Wine: Blend 2015 (Tsiska, Tsolikouri & Krakhuna)
  • Lagvinari: Saperavi 2011

Places are very limited so please write to info@vinologue.com to reserve beforehand.

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Beijing hosts Georgian wine and folk day

24.06.2016. Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China and the world's third most populated city, celebrated Georgian wine and culture with a special event on June 22th.

The event, named Georgia: Wine Homeland Continues 8000-year Winery Tradition, brought together Georgian and Chinese delegates,  representatives from  leading Beijing universities, people from the local wine, art and media industry and many other guests.

The one-day celebration was organised and hosted by Georgia’s National Wine Agency and the Georgian Wine Popularization Center in China at Art Café Ku in Beijing. The event was attended by Ambassador Georgia in China Davit Aptsiauri.

More than 100 bottles of 30 varieties of Georgian wine from various companies were introduced and sampled, with Teleda, Dugladze Wines and Spirits, Kakhetian Wine Cellar, Shalvino, Tiflisski Vinni Pogreb, Winery Khareba, and Telavi Wine Cellar among those on show.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Saperavi producers unite in Australia

21.06.2016 (Hvino News). Australian saperavi growers gathered for "Saperavi Producers Symposium" on 16 June 2016  in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Representatives from Anderson Winery, Ridgemill Estate, Clovely Estate, Patritti Wines, Ballandean Estate, Hugh Hamilton Wines and some independent growers visited to share insights into this fascinating grape variety.

"The day left all attendees with high hopes for saperavi in Australia. There is no doubt that the variety has a future, with its trademark depth and complexity offering wine lovers a greater element of intrigue than the “standard” well-known and loved reds currently on the market," - commented the organizers.

Saperavi grapes are used predominantly in Georgia, but have spread to other regions of Eastern Europe such as Moldova, Ukraine, Russia. It has shown promising results for a few growers in Australia, where it was pioneered in the King Valley Region of North East Victoria. Saperavi cultivars are also being grown in other New World wine regions, notably in Finger Lakes, New York area vineyards.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

66 Georgian wines win at 2016's Decanter World Wine Awards

18.06.2016 (Hvino News). The 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) results were officially announced on June 16. 66 Georgian wines have been awarded in this year's competition, which is a huge progress compared to 28 and 35 awarded wines in 2015 and 2014, respectively.

Quality of awards has also progressed significantly compared to previous years. In 2016 Georgia has 10 Silver Awards in contrast to 4 last year (details here) and just one in 2014 (details here).

List of 2016 Georgian  Silver and Bronze winners follows below:

Silver Awards:
Château Mukhrani Reserve du Prince 2013 White
JSC Telavi Wine Cellar Marani 2015 Red
JSC Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Mtsvane NV White
JSC Telavi Wine Cellar Satrapezo Icewine Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Red
JSC Telavi Wine Cellar Satrapezo Saperavi 2013 Red
Lukasi  Family Reserve Saperavi 2013 Red
Marani Kondoli Vineyards Mtsvane-Kisi 2015 White
Schuchmann Wines Georgia Khvanchkara  2015 Red
Tamada 2013 Red
Tamada Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane 2014 White

Friday, June 17, 2016

What makes Sakartvelo (Georgian) wines so difficult

17.06.2016. Before heading on trip to Georgia (country, not US state…) I started to read up more on the various regions and wines to have a better idea of what I was heading in to. As often stated, the country has been producing wine for 8,000 years and has over 500 native grape varieties. For anyone trying to wrap their head around all the more popular European grape and region names, this is not welcome news…

I soon gave up as I realized that somewhere along the line, someone acted out a linguistic vendetta towards the Georgians and transliterated the Georgian names into the weirdest concoctions you’ve ever seen, specifically with the over-abundance of the letter ‘v’ which is sometimes actually a ‘v’ and other times a ‘u’. This can be no easier seen in the fact that we have the name of Georgia completely an utterly wrong in English as it’s actually Sakartvelo. That’s not as hard as it sounds as it’s actually pronounced ‘sakartuelo’ which goes to show how ridiculous this whole ‘v’ thing is.

Added in to this fun is that the US state of Georgia produces wine as well and at some point, even if it’s never recognized at a UN level, in the wine trade we should really refer to Georgian wines as Sakartvelo wines as they as certainly worthy of being un-confused with those wines from the humid South of the United States. In fact, let’s start doing that right here and now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wine used in ritual ceremonies 5000 years ago in Georgia, the cradle of viticulture

14.06.2016. Georgian-Italian archaeological expedition of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in collaboration with the Georgian Museum of Tbilisi has discovered vine pollen in a zoomorphic vessel used in ritual ceremonies by the Kura-Araxes population. [The findings were announced today by the Italian university - HN].

In the archeological site of Aradetis Orgora, 100 kilometers to the west of the Georgian capital Tbilisi, Ca’ Foscari’s expedition led by Elena Rova (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) and Iulon Gagoshidze (Georgian National Museum Tbilisi) has discovered traces of wine inside an animal-shaped ceramic vessel (circa 3,000 BC), probably used for cultic activities.

The vessel has an animal-shaped body with three small feet and a pouring hole on the back. The head is missing. It was found, together with a second similar vessel and a Kura-Araxes jar, on the burnt floor of a large rectangular area with rounded corners, arguably a sort of shrine used for cultic activities. Results of radiometric (C14) analyses confirm that the finds date to circa 3000-2900 BC. Both zoomorphic vessels are an unicum in the region.

The vessel, examined by palynologist Eliso Kvavadze, contains numerous well-preserved grains of pollen of Vitis vinifera (common grape vine), which shows wine’s strategic role in the Kura-Araxes culture for ritual libations.

According to professor Rova, this is a significant discovery, «because the context of discovery suggests that wine was drawn from the jar and offered to the gods or commonly consumed by the participants to the ceremony».

Meiburg to host Asia Georgian wine festival

by Lucy Jenkins

14.06.2016. Happening across Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai this month, Debra Meiburg’s Georgian Wine Festival is determined to place Georgian wines firmly in the minds of Asia’s wine drinkers.

Focusing on the “diversity and distinctiveness” that characterizes Georgian wines, members of the wine trade and wine consumers will be exposed to the breadth of wine styles typical to Georgia, including sparkling to still, semi-sweet to dry and wines aged in qvevri – Georgia’s traditional earthenware pots.

Debra Meiburg MW will shine a light on over 50 Georgian wines and 10 Georgian winemakers will be in attendance at trade and public tastings happening in Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai.

There’ll be a ‘Georgian Wine Day’ hosted in Shanghai on Wednesday 22 June, and Hong Kong on Friday 24, June with an in-depth tasting of 12 wines, an overview of the wine-producing regions and history of winemaking in Georgia, its native grapes and their characteristics.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Georgian Wine Festival in Hong Kong & Shanghai

10.06.2016 (Hvino News). Georgian wine has emerged as a key global wine trend in 2016, capturing the attention of visiting Masters of Wine, sommeliers, international media and more. Don't miss your chance to taste the full spectrum of Georgian wines, under the guidance of Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine.

(1) Taste more than 50 Georgian wines
(2) Appreciate the full range on offer, from sparkling to still, white to red, semi-sweet to dry, and classic to modern
(3) Meet and taste with 10 winemakers and representatives direct from Georgia, exclusively for the Georgia Wine Festival.

Date: 24 June 2016, Friday. Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm.

Venue: Cordis Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok. Full-fare ticket: HK$70; combo for two: HK$100.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

June 2016 is Georgian Wine Month in USA

09.06.2016. (Hvino News). June has been declared as Georgian wine month in the US. Georgia’s National Wine Agency is sponsoring a variety of events in the USA throughout the month. Branching out from 2014’s inaugural tasting in New York, and first Georgian Wine Month held in October 2016, this year’s tour also includes New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Attendees will have the opportunity to taste an array of Georgia’s indigenous grapes, and to compare these varieties produced in both modern and traditional (“qvevri”) production styles. Wines from all of Georgia’s leading producers, both big and small, will be poured, including several wineries making their debut appearance.

Each tasting will be preceded by a limited-seating seminar and tutored tasting on Georgian wine & wine culture. Accredited press and trade only.

Monday, June 13th at Corkbuzz Restaurant & Wine Bar
13 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
Seminar Registration is now CLOSED
Walk-around tasting: 12-3:30pm

The raw, wild, weird, and previously ungettable wines of Georgia (in Portland, USA)

by Jordan Michelman

09.06.2016. On this coming Thursday, June 9, curious drinkers in Portland have an opportunity to try some of the most buzzed about natural wines in the world all day at P.R.E.A.M. (2131 SE 11th Ave., 503-231-2809), the Wu­Tang leaning pizzeria from Ned Ludd vet Nicholas Ford. Those would be the wines of Georgia—the nation, not the state—in a wine list takeover curated by Ryan Jones of Ardor Natural Wines.

If you’re unfamiliar with Georgian wine—or natural wine in the first place—the two have a symbiotic relationship that goes back thousands of years. Georgia is arguably where winemaking was invented, and in this small Caucus nation, independent from Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has long been fused with the local music and religious traditions into something like a Dionysian feasting and drinking culture

That’s all described beautifully in the wine writer Alice Feiring’s ode to Georgia, “For The Love of Wine”, a loving survey of the subject. Between all day feasts and visits to backyard wineries, Feiring describes how Stalin, himself Georgian, nearly snuffed out the local winemaking traditions in favor of mass produced factory wine.

Local winemaking traditions went underground and persevered, centered largely around the use of q​vevri​—enormous beeswax-­lined clay vinification vessels that are the calling card of Georgian wine.

Wine Tourism Association: Small companies produce better quality wines than large winemakers

09.06.2016. Small-scale wineries produce better products than the big industrial producers, according to Levan Chubinidze, founder of Wine Tourism Association. In his opinion, today there is very intense competition between winemakers, as they attended various exhibitions both in Georgia and abroad.

"It's good, but in order to establish business contacts, it is necessry to meet with potential partners, while small companies have limited possibilities of this" - he said.

The founder of the Association, interviewed by Commersant, spoke about the inevitability of retraining of people involved in the sector as well as infrastructure development to boost the wine tourism in the country.

In Chubinidze’s words, Georgia is the country of wine tourism which definitely has a great potential. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to develop the sector. Infrastructure development, training of people will be the right investment that will bring results.

Giorgi Samanishvili, director of the National Wine Agency, says that from year to year a lot of new wine companies start operating on the market. In his words, in the coming days export data of 5 months will be made public [already published here - HN], but it can be said that compared to last year the volume of exports has increased.

Source (edited)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ancient winery area in Georgia

07.06.2016. General Director of National Museum of Georgia Davit Lordkipanidze, head of National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili, representatives of National Agency of Cultural Heritage Defense and Georgian Wine Association visited Qvemo Qartli, Imiri and saw archaeological findings of VI century B.C.

As a result of the archaeological expedition, grape stones of VI century B.C were discovered in Qvemo Qartli. Complex investigation has  determined, that first time, wild vine was domesticated in Georgia and wine was made of cultivated vine. Cultivated vine dust cell is discovered in the scrapings of the ware, that confirms the existence of wine in this wares.

As the head of the National Wine Agency mentioned, “Georgian Vine and  Wine Investigation” project, which provides the archaeological excavation, is very important for Georgian wine popularization."

“This project is generally important for Georgian history and especially for research of winery and viticulture, as this is the place   the affirmative  materials that  Georgia is the oldest area of winery were discovered. These excavation is for finding additional artifacts to strengthen our ancient Winery history. We started producing wine 8 thousand years ago and this process was continuous, which is very important. In Georgia, wine is produced the same way and is as good, as thousand years before”- mentioned Giorgi Samanishvili.

Official: Georgia's wine export statistics for 5 months (2016)

07.06.2016 (Hvino News). According to National Wine Agency, in January - May 2016, 15 053 106 bottles of wine (0.75 l) was exported Georgia to 34 countries worldwide, that is 44% higher, than the similar data of the past year. In the period under review, 35.04 million USD worth of wine was exported, that is 16 % higher, than the similar data of the past year.

According to data of January-May, the five of exporting countries are the following: Russia - 7 560 974 bottles; Ukraine – 1 853 663 bottles, Kazakhstan – 1 620 046 bottles, China – 1 242 523 bottles, Poland - 835 792 bottles.

The increase of export in the period under review is notable in the following countries: China – 106% ( 1 242 523), Ukraine – 73% (1 853 663), Russia – 59% (7 560 974), Belarus – 77% (262 838), Lithuania – 46% ( 244 368), Poland – 30% (835 792), Estonia – 17% (236 496), Kirghistan – 171% (107 646), Germany 31% (141 328), Canada – 25% ( 77 100), UK – 79 (52 126) and etc.

Also, 3 330 333 bottles of brand (0.5 l) was exported in 13 countries worldwide, that is 69% higher than the similar data of 2015. Totally, 7.7 million USD worth of brand was exported, that is 35% higher than the similar data of the past year.

Totally, wine, brandy, chacha, wine materials, brandy on tap and brandy alcohol export income of the period under review exceeded 61.1 mil USD. According to the data of the 5 months of the past year, the indicator amount was 45.5 mil USD.

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Ancient remains stake Georgia’s claim as cradle of wine culture

07.06.2016. A historic archaeological discovery in south-eastern Georgia's Kvemo Kartli region has provided fresh support for the country's claim of being the birthplace of wine-making.

On Monday the Georgian National Museum (GNM) announced grape seeds and vine dust dating back to 6,000 BC had been discovered at the Gadachrili Gora archaeological site.

The area is located near Imiri village, 35km south of capital Tbilisi, and is the site of an international expedition jointly organised by the GNM and the University of Toronto, Canada.

The GNM announcement said a complex study of vine dust remains found in ancient ceramic vessels had confirmed they had been used for wine at the Neolithic location.

GNM said the study had established the ancient Georgian region as the first location where humans had turned wild vine vegetation into domestic culture.

As well as finding traces of wine, the archaeological dig also uncovered residential buildings, domestic work instruments, vessels and pits at the site, and other discoveries.

Digs at the Gadachrili Gora site have revealed ancient wine-making artefacts since 2014, when the international project ‘Research and Popularization of Georgian Grape and Wine Culture’ was initiated by the GNM, the Georgian Wine Association and the National Wine Agency of Georgia.

Findings at the site indicated that ancient people from this area were the first to use wild grapes and vines for health, religious and spiritual reasons, with the vine culture later spreading around the globe.

Monday, June 6, 2016

"Wine & Spirits": Crazy for Qvevri

by Tara Q. Thomas

“Maybe qvevri wine is more interesting for people in the US and in Europe, but from my point of view, the most important thing in wine is the vineyard.”
—Malkhaz Jackelli

06.06.2016. There’s a scene in For the Love of Wine, a new book on Georgian wine, where author Alice Feiring dreams of a SWAT team swooping in to protect the country’s qvevris. Georgians have vinified their wines in these huge earthenware vessels for most of the country’s 8,000-year winemaking history, but by the time Feiring visits a qvevri maker in 2013, there are only three manufacturers left, and she fears there will be none if Georgia succumbs to the pressures of the outside world.

It’s an ironic situation, as Feiring points out in her book, as the winemaking world outside of Georgia is crazy for qvevri right now. Josko Gravner was an early adopter, along with his neighbors in Slovenia and Italy’s Friuli, Stanko Radikon, Edi Kante, and Giorgio and Nicolò Bensa of La Castellada. The French grew more interested in 2013, after Feiring brought a couple Georgians to La Dive, a gathering of natural winemakers in the Loire. Thierry Puzelat began importing Georgian wines to France, along with some qvevri. Jean Foillard, Thierry Germain, Nicolas Reau, Philippe Tessier and Hervé Villemade ordered amphorae as well, she reports. In the US, winemakers from Long Island (Channing Daughters) to California are making wines in clay vessels; in Oregon, winemaker and ceramicist Andrew Beckham is firing amphorae both for his own wines and to sell.

Sommeliers are fascinated by Georgia’s qvevri wines, too. “There are some very interesting grape varieties in Georgia,” says Roger Dagorn, who lists Georgian wines at Tocqueville and The Fourth in NYC, “but what makes Georgia unique is its history, and most of it was in qvevri. These are things that I can talk to people about; they are curious and interesting.”

"Wine & Spirits" tasting results 2016: Crazy for qvevri

06.06.2016 (Hvino News). A year ago Hvino News reported that Wine & Spirits - one of industry's leading magazines - started to pay much more attention to Georgian wines (see
"Wine & Spirits" tasting results: Sharp increase in number of Georgian wines).

In this year's edition, Georgian winemakers are not only represented equally well with 15 wines, but Wine & Spirits also published a separate article devoted to them.

In her article "Crazy for Qvevri", the author Tara Q. Tomas is more that just educating the readers about the qvevri and the Georgia's past - she is touching the question of the future retrospectives of Georgian winemaking.

The article reads: "Yet qvevri wines are estimated to make up less than one percent of Georgia’s wine exports, and, while wines made in stainless steel and cement tanks have long been associated with Soviet-era bulk wines, a number of quality wines vinified in stainless steel are emerging, raising the question of whether qvevri is the only way forward for Georgian wine".

"Lisa Granik, a Master of Wine who has lived in Georgia, believes the qvevri question has evolved as winemakers get a better grasp on what they have in their vineyards. “Now the question is, are all of their grape varieties better in qvevri?” “What we saw,” she recalls, “is that qvevri is a great equalizer.”

While Jeff Berlin prefers to pour qvevri wines at À Côté [restaurant] in Berkeley for their unique flavor and history, he’s not about to declare that it’s the only thing the country can do. “Georgia is such a beautiful blank canvas with a whole new palette of colors,” he says, “and they should be encouraged to experiment however they can.”

For the full text, click here.

The highest rating (93) was reached by Gotsa Family Wines' Asureti Valley Chinuri 2014, suggested retail price 30 USD. See the scans for more information on other Georgian wines, which are marked in yellow (click on pictures to enlarge).

The wines were rated and described by an individual critic. Wines from 80 to 85 are recommended as good examples of their variety or region. Wines from 86 to 89 are highly recommended; from 90 to 94 are exceptional examples of their type; and 95 or higher are superlative, rare finds.

Founded in 1982, Wine & Spirits is published eight times a year and read by over 200,000 members of wine community.

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Cultivation of ancient Meskhetian vine begins in Samtskhe-Javakheti

06.06.2016 (Hvino News). Cultivation of ancient Meskhetian vine begins at the territory of so-called Khizabavri Meskhetian Terraces, region Samtskhe-Javakheti.

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili took part in the planting of ancient varieties of grapes in the village of Aspindza. Founders of the terraces rehabilitation project are Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze [owners of TBC Bank - HN]. Investment in this project amounts to approximately half a million GEL. 17 rare varieties of grapes are planted on the rehabilitated terraces.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Mamuka Khazaradze, Badri Japaridze, as well as director of Vardzia Terraces Giorgi Natenadze and Archbishop Teodore have planted the first saplings.

As Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said, "This is more than revival of viticulture, it will be the beginning of the revival of the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti region and Georgia in general."

"I am delighted that we have restored this monument of culture, which no one had remembered for centuries; life will come back to the region,  more visitors and tourists will be coming," - said Mr. Kvirikashvili.

© Hvino News

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Results of 8-th International Wine Competition in Tbilisi announced

06.06.2016 (Hvino News) The 8-th International Wine competition was held in the framework of WinExpo Georgia 2016 on June 3-5th.

The results of the Tbilisi wine competition were announced at the awards ceremony.

The jury of the international wine competition was chaired by Tim Atkin MW (Great Britain). "A pleasure to judge Georgian wines", - he wrote in his Twitter.

The panel included Kenichi Ohashi MW (Japan), Richard Kershaw MS (South Africa), Isa Bal MS (Turkey), Mikhail Meskhi (Georgia), Levan Davitashvili (Georgia).

"The Best of the Show" Trophy was awarded to qvevri wine Saperavi Rcheuli Qvevri by Satsnakheli.

The company representatives were awarded with special diplomas.

The full list of award winners is below:



Saperavi Rcheuli Qvevri

Red D/K
Qvevri Trophy Saperavi


Kakhetian Wine Cellar
White Dry 
Dry White Trophy

White D/Q
Qisi Trophy

Shalauri Cellar
White D/Q
Rkatsiteli Trophy

Babaneuri Cellar
White D/Q
Mtsvane Trophy

Red Dry
Ojaleshi Trophy

Mukuzani Georgika
Red Dry
Saperavi Trophy 

Saperavi Rcheuli Qvevri
Red D/K
Qvevri Trophy Saperavi

Red S/S
Red Semi Sweet Trophy